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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Teaching With Data portal

We've launched a new version of our Teaching With Data portal.

TwD is one of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) pathways. Each pathway has a domain-specific focus or interest, and ours is using quantitative social science research data as an element of teaching.

Jane Wang is the lead software developer on TwD, and she has been building the site using a Fedora stack called Muradora. One of the design requirements from the research team was that the site had to be based on Fedora, and rather than build a complete portal from scratch, Jane selected the stack that would be the best fit for our development environment.

Our TwD site is also interesting in that it is the first portal that we've deployed completely in the cloud; there is no local hardware at ICPSR supporting the project (except for Jane's laptop). All of the content and software resides in Amazon's cloud.

Another interesting aspect of this release is that we're using OpenID for authentication. This means that instead of needing to create yet another login and password to remember, visitors may instead use an existing login and password from one of many OpenID-compliant sources, such as Google, AOL and Yahoo. We're using a third-party service called RPX from JanRain to enable this feature. I'm expecting that we'll enable OpenID and other authentication systems (such as Facebook Connect) on the main ICPSR web site in the near future.

Of course, the site has other new features as well, and I'd like to encourage you to have a look by clicking the image above.

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